Can small-scale irrigation deliver big benefits to African farmers?

24 February 2016
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Malawi research briefAgricultural development is once again on the top of the agenda in delivering growth in the predominantly agrarian African economies. However, while the need appears to be urgent in the face of climate change and growing populations, land and water scarcity, this research suggests that we need to look before we leap! Agriculture needs to learn from its past and present before large-scale investments are promoted.

In this research briefing we share some findings from an ethnographic study of small-scale irrigation in Malawi. The briefing looks at some of the constraints to irrigation development and suggests areas that merit further discussion. It is our hope that farmers, policy makers, and practitioners in other countries will find these experiences and our analysis helpful in their planning.

This research brief was created by Dr Elizabeth Harrison (School of Global Studies, University of Sussex) and Dr Canford Chiroro.

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